[Shanghai Girl Eats] Fu He Hui 福和慧
Fu He Hui 福和慧 | Dianping
Address: 1037 Yuyuan Lu near Jiangsu Lu / 愚园路1037号(近江苏路)
Date visited: 2016.06 for dinner (open for lunch and dinner)
Price: RMB380/680/880 sets
Will return: Yes
What to get: RMB380 set
Update: Fu He Hui was awarded 1* in the 2017 Michelin Guide
Anyone who has known me for five minutes or longer will probably pick up the fact that I am a devout meat lover. I love crusty steaks, gourmet burgers, and fatty Japanese and Korean BBQ. Eating a piece of marbled red meat is possibly one of the most satisfying experiences one can have (among a few other things) and I will never succumb to the grass life.
With that said, I did eat Fu He Hui, the vegetarian child of Tony Lu’s famed Fu restaurants (Fu 1088, Fu 1039, Fu 1015 — did I get all of them?) and it was very good. Fu He Hui literally translates to “fortune and intelligence,” traits you really need to be able to turn vegetables into a multitude of enjoyable courses. Fu He Hui is currently ranked 19 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2016. It’s not vegetables trying to mimic meat, it’s vegetables presented in different ways.
Fu He Hui offers RMB380, 680, and two different 880 sets for lunch and dinner; some dishes in the sets vary week to week. I have tried the RMB380 and RMB880 sets on separate occasions. Though the same amount of food (typically 8 courses), the RMB880 set is on the denser side while the RMB380 set is on the lighter side. I recommend the RMB380 set as it is a great experience and more bang for buck. The opportunity cost of a RMB880 meal of vegetables is a nice slab of steak at Roosevelt Prime — there is no question which is trumps the other.
Let’s go through the RMB380 set first.
Amuse-bouche: potato stuffed with quail egg, fruit tarts
The potato and egg combo was a good carb starter while I didn’t care for the pineapple and peach tarts since they tasted syrupy rather than unadulterated freshly diced pieces.
Course 1: avocado, mango, tomato, waffle cone
Diced avocado, mango, and tomato in a seaweed cone that smelled like truffle. Very good.
Course 2: longan, walnut, black bean soup
This was the only thing I disliked because it was bland all around. I think Chinese soups are really special because of the aromatic flavors you get from stewing bones for hours and you can’t get the same effect from this.
Course 3: mashed taro dumpling, sweet potato leaves, pumpkin
This was my favorite dish — taro engulfed in a crispy tempura.
Course 4: lotus seed, honey, pea, black fungus
Simple course of vegetables, which I liked, to balance the more intricate dish presentations.
Course 5: white and purple yam, mushroom, soy
More yams than I need but an excellent combination with mushroom and soy.
Course 6: eggplant, kailan, teriyaki sauce, sesame, gorgon fruit
If there was a main course through this meal, this would be it since it was the heaviest and sauciest. The teriyaki sauce was sweet and spicy at the same time.
Course 7: fried red rice, egg white, dried turnip
Fried rice is a staple in my Chinese diet and this was a great healthy version without sacrificing taste.
Course 8: Hokkaido red bean ice cream, mungbean cake
Sweet ending with a smoothy and creamy red bean ice cream.
Below is the RMB880 menu, which I had the first time I came to Fu He Hui. This was recommended by the server for those who typically like heavier and meatier foods to “ease” into a vegetarian meal. It was definitely on the flavor-heavy and filling side.
Course 1: flower pot with greens, carrot, crispy quinoa, green soy bean mousse
This is the definition of rabbit food. Hidden under the fresh leaves is a light soy bean mousse and crispy quinoa. Very interesting with good textures.
Course 2: winter bamboo shoot, morel mushroom, seaweed, miso
Same lack of flavor with this soup as the one in the RMB380 set. I think the soups here are just not for me.
Course 3: tofu skin, avocado puree, eggplant
This course came in two parts: avocado puree wrapped in the tofu skin (meh) and eggplant and tofu skin stir-fried in a sweet chili sauce (also meh because I don’t like sweet and sour sauces very much).
Course 4: mushroom, soybean sprouts, red pepper foam
Course 5: onion tartlet, egg, purple sweet potato, pumpkin
This reminded me of a quiche and I don’t like quiches.
Course 6: smoked porcini, sea salt, mushroom gel, shallot
This was the best course of the set. The mushrooms arrived enclosed in a smoke-filled jar and was well-seasoned with salt and infused with smoke aroma. Porcini is also a very “meaty” mushroom so it was super filling and satisfying.
Course 7: chestnut rice, turnip, sticky rice, black truffle
And as if we weren’t already full enough, the carb course was a super filling and glutinous rice. The rice had a strong peppery taste that worked really well.
Course 8: chocolate mousse, white sesame pudding
While the RMB330 menu ended with a modest red bean ice cream, the RMB880 dessert was a full on dense chocolate mouse and sesame pudding. A super sweet ending.